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Almost two-thirds of British adults say school children need to learn about Christianity in order to understand English history, culture, and way of life, according to a new poll from Oxford University. But current religious education courses that ...

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Howard Pepper

December 05, 2012  12:14pm

I'm not a Brit, but appreciate the comments about getting our terminology right when reporting on matters in Great Britain and/or England. As to the subject, while the English system of religious education is necessarily a point of conflict, we in the US would do well to allow such conflict to penetrate our educational system more deeply. By that I mean that I think it should be clear we have far too little education ABOUT religion in public OR private schooling. Traditional Christianity has been, will continue to be resistant to being pooled together with other religions in a "neutral" (or as objective as possible) kind of education. But that seems the most workable and a much needed approach. What else can/should be taught that mostly side-steps specific dogma of ANY religion is a personal and social psychology of religion. "Psych of Religion" was an academic field in its own right for a couple decades arnd 100 years ago. Unfortunate it got relegated to a minor backwater.

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Heather Macarthur

December 04, 2012  5:41pm

Indeed Dr Brown...I wholeheartedly agree. As to the schools...this report acts as if state funded religious schools were new to England (or even Britain in this context). I would think the Catholic Church and Church of England would be surprised by that idea as these institutions have maintained religious schools with state funds for many many years. I wonder how many of the new schools are of different faiths to Christianity and how then will they teach that curriculum requirement about Christianity??

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DR ALISTAIR BROWN

December 04, 2012  2:15pm

Great article, and very interesting to a Brit living in Chicago area. But as a Scotsman I cannot help but notice you interchange 'Britain' and 'England' as if the words mean the same. England is only one part of Britain. The Oxford survey behind the piece, and I read the link you include, almost certainly only covers England and not the whole of Britain. (Note that in its report 'Britain' is never mentioned.) Scotland, for example, has its own education system. I know this sounds unimportant to most, but no true Scotsman can ever allow the word Britain to be equated with England!

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